Teach Plus New Mexico Names 10 Schools Across the State as Its 2024 Innovation in Education Award Winners

Teach Plus New Mexico Names 10 Schools Across the State as Its 2024 Innovation in Education Award Winners

Schools’ innovative systems and practices focus on improving early literacy and math, supporting underserved student groups, and increasing high school graduation rates

Albuquerque, NM, April 15, 2024—Teach Plus New Mexico has named 10 schools across the Land of Enchantment as its 2024 Innovation in Education award winners in developing systems and practices that improve student outcomes in early literacy and math, support underserved student groups, and increase high school graduation rates. It is the third year that Teach Plus has recognized schools whose innovative approaches are transforming student learning. Launched in 2022, Teach Plus’s innovation work focuses on holistically understanding New Mexico’s students and communities and their needs and identifying solutions that move teaching, learning, and academic outcomes forward.

With only 21% of New Mexico’s 4th graders testing at or above proficiency in reading and 19% in math on the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and a four-year graduation rate of 76%, innovative approaches are key to closing the opportunity gap for all students and especially for students most in need.

“Data shows that too many of our students face barriers in their learning, creating too many challenges for them to achieve their dreams. The good news is that schools across our state are thinking outside the box and implementing innovative systems targeted at meeting the specific needs of their students and school community,” said Hope Morales, Teach Plus New Mexico Executive Director. “Teach Plus is focused on identifying these innovations, and on convening our educational community to amplify and share these best practices across our system so that all students have a better chance at success after high school.”

The 2024 Innovation in Education awardees are:

  • Innovations in teaching early literacy and math: instructional practices focused on student-centered, individualized instruction designed to increase student engagement and outcomes
    • Albuquerque Collegiate Charter School (Albuquerque)
    • Chamisa Elementary School and the Los Alamos Online Learning Academy (White Rock)
    • Reserve Elementary School (Reserve)
  • Innovative support for underserved student groups: systems focused on providing high-quality support that are connected to improved outcomes for students experiencing homelessness, in foster care, and students with disabilities, groups that have the lowest graduation rate
    • Siembra Leadership High School (Albuquerque)
    • Laguna Middle School (Laguna)
    • Rio Grande Academy of Fine Arts Elementary & Middle School (Albuquerque)
    • Carlsbad Intermediate School PR Leyva (Carlsbad)
  • Innovations to increase high school graduation rates: practices that move beyond expected high school experiences, integrate unique programs or inputs, and meet the individual needs of students so that they experience postsecondary success in order to improve quality of life
    • East Mountain High School (Sandia Park)
    • University High School (Roswell)
    • The Academy for Technology and the Classics (Santa Fe)

“In the Albuquerque community, young people have a need for hands-on learning and opportunities to prepare them for adulthood. To meet these needs, Siembra has innovated our work by offering day, evening, virtual and asynchronous credit recovery. In all these programs, our students have access to paid internships, dual enrollment, and business startup offerings and are seen as assets and the key to making Albuquerque a better place for everyone,” said Jaqi Baldwin, Executive Director at Siembra Leadership High School.

This year, 52 schools submitted applications to Teach Plus, the largest number to date. A distinguished judging panel reviewed the applications, including:

  • Annie Armatage, Senior Policy Analyst II for the New Mexico Legislative Education Study Committee; Amanda DeBell, New Mexico Public Education Department Deputy Secretary for Teaching, Learning, and Innovation; and Chelsea Granillo, Rio Rancho 1st grade teacher and 2023-2024 Teach Plus New Mexico Alumni Policy Fellow (Innovations in teaching early literacy and math)
  • Patricia Jiménez-Latham, Senior Advisor for Communications and Outreach at Future Focused Education; Aimee Parra, Teach Plus New Mexico’s Teacher Network Coordinator; and Isaac Rivas-Savell, Founder and Director of VOZ Collegiate Preparatory Charter School (Innovative support for underserved student groups)
  • Amanda Aragon, NMKidsCan Executive Director; Sunny Liu, Principal Fiscal Analyst for the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee; and Matthew Pahl, Public Charter Schools of New Mexico’s Executive Director (Innovations to increase high school graduation rate)

“These schools and their innovations show us what is possible for New Mexico’s students. Their examples should inspire reflection and action to ensure in every school, we are meeting the needs of every student,” said Amanda Aragon, NMKidsCan Executive Director.

Teach Plus will recognize the 2024 winning schools at its third annual Innovation in Education summit on July 19-20, 2024, in Albuquerque. During the summit, district, school, and teacher leaders will convene to learn from the selected schools. The schools’ innovations and their work will also be featured in an accompanying report. For its previous, 2023 report, Teach Plus recognized seven public schools whose innovative approaches generated results in three categories: instructional practices; support systems; and family and community engagement.

About Teach Plus
The mission of Teach Plus is to empower excellent, experienced, and diverse teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect their students’ success. In pursuing this mission, Teach Plus is guided by the Student Opportunity Mandate​: All students should have the opportunity to achieve their potential in an education system defined by its commitment to equity, its responsiveness to individual needs, and its ability to prepare students for postsecondary success. Since 2009, Teach Plus has trained thousands of teacher leaders across the country who are driving policy changes and improving the instructional practices of teachers to create an education system driven by equity, access, and excellence for all students. teachplus.org/nm/